SweetSpearGirl, lvl 76 Jabazon
Euyfura, Rogue merc
Miss FrequentCast, the Ubiquitous Valk

The day dawned bright and crisp. SweetSpearGirl had fought her way to the Crystalline Passage waypoint the day before and replenished her full rejuvenation stock while she was at it. It had not been easy - various bosses had caused quite a bit of trouble - but they got the job done. Today would be a more dangerous task: the Frozen River.

does he really have a sharp tooth??   moon lord boss. Ulp

extra fast LE moon lord boss. Help!   chilly boss pack makes trouble

But first they had to get through the Crystalline Passage again. Champion packs of Moon Lords and Snow Drifters barred their way (one of them dropped a chance stone), and Euyfura bit the ice more than once. Stygian Harlots and Frozen Creepers were also lurking around - the former easily dispatched; the latter frustrating. SweetSpearGirl's cold resist was the only resist not maxed, so she had a tough time with them - often chilled as moon lords or other nasty buggers hove into view.

chilly buggers

Fortunately the Frozen River entrance was not far from the waypoint, marked by the presence of a Snow Drifter champion pack and a couple of Frozen Creepers. (She did *not* trip the Evil Urn near the entrance, having heard nasty stories about what a boss pack of extra fast cursed fanat-aura'd Moon Lords could do to a person.) Recasting the Valk (again) and gathering in the merc, the intrepid zon slid down the icy tunnel into the area. More ice, creating pathways alongside a chill river of slush. Long ago the Barbarian peoples had used the ice caves as refuges in times of trouble; the irony was that now, the surviving Barbarians were safer in their remaining towns, than anywhere else in the Northlands.

Abominables - white-furred cousins of the Yeti beasts of the south - were the first to greet them as they picked their way along the ice. Here and there, rotting wooden bridges marked where the Barbarians had crossed the river and long-dead fires and piles of refuse marked their former happy camping grounds. Now the place was swarming with Rot Walkers and Blood Temptresses. The former didn't seem to know when they were dead and kept getting back up; the latter were just an annoyance, with their strangely ineffective curses.

A boss pack of Death Slashers suddenly barred their way; a few arrows from Euyfura's bow provoked a swarm of charged bolts from the boss. Ash Froth the Wraith was an extra strong Multiple-Shot LE - SweetSpearGirl had considered herself lucky to have not run into an MSLEB since the High Council in Travincal. Now it seemed her luck had run out.

yeeeks, MSLEB!

SweetSpearGirl survived the fight, but Valk and merc did not. While she and Euyfura had had enough sense to concentrate on the minions, the dumb Valk had gone straight for the boss; one spear thrust was all it took to put Euyfura on the floor. SweetSpearGirl finished off the minions and a pack of Rot Walkers that was slowly moving in, before focusing on Ash Froth. He went down fairly quickly, but she had to drink a few purples. (He dropped a few to replenish her stock, though.) Back to town to gather in her posse. Fortunately the next fight was easy - a few Rot Walkers. "Onward and... well, onward," she muttered, shivering in the cold that not even her heavy armour could protect against.

champion slashers

Abominables, Blood Temptresses, Champion Death Slashers and Rot Walkers continued to bar their way as they worked on through the Frozen River. SweetSpearGirl slung magic items and potions into her Horadric Cube (fat purples were still dropping, which was appreciated!) and stockpiled gold (she was sure she'd need it). Fortunately there were no more MSLEBs and the loot was more than making up for Euyfura's resurrection costs, and repair costs for SweetSpearGirl's equipment. These fights took their toll on her weapon especially. She suspected Lycander's Flank really wasn't up to this kind of treatment and wondered if she should get herself a new spear...

More Abominables, more Blood Temptresses; oh look, Euyfura's died again! An Ort rune dropped and a pair of Gauntlets with a golden glow around them fell from some nameless Abominable. Up ahead she saw something she couldn't immediately make out; gathering in merc and Valk, as they approached, they realized it was a young girl frozen in the ice!
"This must be that Anya that Malah asked us to find," Euyfura commented.
"Yeah, but how do we get her out of there?" SweetSpearGirl wondered.
"Coffee?" Euyfura grinned.
"We could try!" the spearazon laughed.

another chilly bugger

But first, there was Frozenstein to be dealt with - a big boss cold-enchanted Frozen Abyss with a curse and a mana-burning ability who was also cold-immune. Yikes. SweetSpearGirl threw up a portal in case a quick escape was needed and laid into them. After chasing a stray minion all the way round the platform where Anya sat frozen, SweetSpearGirl dealt with Frozenstein. His cold-enchanted death blast was surprisingly powerful and nearly took out the Valk, but while chilled to the bone, the intrepid trio still found enough strength to collect the loot and speak to Anya. "P-p-please, h-hero... Nihl-lathak did ththis... tell M-m-malah..."


Portalling back to town, they got a potion from Malah to thaw out the chilly Barbarian, who returned to town as quickly as she could! Malah's reward was a scrool that when read, increased SweetSpearGirl's resistances (this was a good thing!) Anya also offered a reward: a Matriarchal Spear which was actually pretty powerful; SweetSpearGirl thought she'd try it on for size and see if it was any better than Lycander's Flank. Unfortunately it wasn't, and she sold the thing to Malah; the unique gauntlets turned out to be Frostburn's - nice, but not useful, and she sold those to Larzuk. Anya told them about some sort of holy relic that Nihlathak was going to give Baal, which would apparently be a very bad thing... so, SweetSpearGirl guessed, it was time to go after the Barbarian Necromancer with the unpleasant disposition.

Anya's spear

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